Kell Brook finally walked from the shadow of his tutors Naseem Hamed, Brendan Ingle and Ryan Rhodes on Saturday night at York Hall, London, when he stopped Rhondda's Barrie Jones in the seventh round to win the vacant British welterweight title.
Jones lost every round and the referee Mickey Vann finally jumped in front of Brook's fists to rescue Jones just seconds after the towel of surrender fluttered into the ring. Jones accepted the fight at late notice and the gamble backfired but it was worth the risk.
Brook, 22, was joined in the ring to celebrate at the end of the fight by Rhodes, who won the British light-middleweight title in April having previously held the belt 11 years ago, and two of Hamed's brothers.
"I have been waiting for this win since I was a little boy when I watched all of the great fighters winning titles," said Brook, who walked into Ingle's boxing gym on the outskirts of Sheffield when he was nine and met Hamed and Rhodes for the first time.
On Saturday Jones struggled from the start and by the fourth round it was obvious that his heart and desire would not be enough against a fighter who had been in the gym preparing for a British title fight since February.
Brook was twice scheduled to fight Kevin McIntyre for the welterweight title but both fights fell through and McIntyre, who has a back injury, was stripped of his title 10 days ago and Jones filled the void.
"Now I want to fight McIntyre if I can to give him a chance to win back his old title and then I will hopefully make a few quick defences before looking at the European title and a real world title next year," Brook added.Reuse content